I'm going to Nepal in about 10 days to start the beginning of an India/Nepal trip traveling, hopefully some volunteering and wwoofing. My first stop is nepal (I'm flying in from KL) and having had a look at some forums,web sites etc. I now feel grossly underprepared.
My immediate 'thing-to-do' when i thought about Nepal was obviously 'Everest base camp', however its now starting to look pretty expensive. $200 flight just to get to the starting point?? $40 a day on food and lodge?? $20 a day for a guide for 3 weeks!? I knew it wasn't gonna be cheap, but that would really kill my budget. Is there a cheaper way of doing ECB, or are there cheaper treks that backpacker types can afford? What would be the best ''budget trek' ($20-$30 a day) Ideally i don't want to join a tour, I'm 23 male and generally fit so I wouldn't be against going without a guide/porter if it was feasible. Any advice? maybe another trek?
Secondly, assuming i do a 'teahouse trek', er, what exactly is a 'teahouse'? How expensive are they? Can you get food there? and do you have to book them in advance? Do they have electricity for say, charging camera batteries?
Thirdly, upon arrival in Kathmandu I'm planning to go to Thamel. Can anyone recommend s hotel/hostel that is firstly good and relatively cheap and secondly where I can meet other backpackers/trekkers to organise treks, share costs etc.? I'm on my tod till Dehli so would like to meet some cool people, especially for holi which I think is the day after I arrive. (Speaking of which if anyone reading this is gonna be around Kathmandu during that time and in a similar situation message me and we can plan a cheaper trek or grab a drink or what ever.)
Fourthly, kit wise, I've got trekking shoes, some warmish clothes, a mini sleeping bag, a wooly hat, usual backpacker stuff... is there anything that i really should buy before i get to Kathmandu (bearing in mind i'm in Jakarta at the moment, which doesn't have many winter clothing stores)?
Finally, I know you have to get permits for Everest and some other treks but what do you have to do with your insurance? I've read on forums somewhere you have to register it somewhere otherwise they won't air lift you out if something happens? Is this still true?
Sorry about the long post. Thanks guys in advance, I'm sure all this info is in the nepal lonely planet however I won't have one to hand until i get there so any advice/info before that is much appreciated.
Ps. How much is a taxi from the airport to Thamel? :)